30. Battlefield: Bad Company
What we said: "Once you've experienced the various highs and lows that Bad Company has to offer, it feels like an immensely polished, ambitious effort that will build up a strong following for all the right reasons."
Farzlepot says: Maligned by some, the single-player campaign is a charming, self-deprecating romp across fictional countries and accompanied by some of the most natural, warm and humorous NPC characters this side of Half-Life 2. The fact that you aren't a hero, but rather a darn nasty gold thief, makes for a refreshing change. Finally I get to buy that yacht I always thought I deserved!
Kilters says: The best multplayer action this year. Love the vehicles.
DUFFKING says: A big surprise for me and also a very pleasant one. If you ignore the horrible single-player, this is the best multiplayer shooter experience on the 360 since Shadowrun.
Scimac says: Great story-driven FPS. Online is awesome too. Well, before the Conquest mode patch release it was.
Syon says: Comedy game or destruction mode? Fantastic voice acting and super demolition-everything-stuff made this game a 'remember' for a long time. Not to mention a really good multiplayer where no camper can stay in one place and hide from a bombardment!
spelk says: A true multi-class multiplayer combat classic. Unlike COD4 where class hybridisation was king, BC is all about teamwork, in a way that's only been seen in the likes of Team Fortress.
29. Lost Odyssey
Microsoft / Mistwalker / feelplus / Xbox 360
What we said: "If you've got the patience to sit through its slow build-up, and if you're open-minded enough to allow it to transport you, then it will take you to places that other JRPGs haven't even dreamed of visiting."
dynatronic says: It's an absolutely gorgeous game with an engaging story and characters you grow to love. Add the steampunk atmosphere and the awesome combat system and it really is one of the best RPGs I've ever played.
Poh says: I'm not the kind of guy that likes RPGs. I dare to say that I hate RPGs! So why would I choose an RPG for the best 2008 game? Because it is freakin' awesome! Loved the story, the characters, the battle system, the no-need-to-grind style of play, the amazing soundtrack... Well, I loved everything in this game! Who could tell that reading Kaim dreams could be such a glorifying experience?
Crofto says: Not exactly the best RPG on the market, but for the 360 which is still severely lacking in solid RPGs, it is the closet thing to Final Fantasy you will get until FFXIII.
berelain says: The most emotionally moving RPG I've ever experienced, and one that bucks the RPG norms by casting you as a jaded immortal who has already experienced everything life has to offer and more.
Spiral says: The best refinement of traditional JRPG formula I've seen. The Ring System does a great job of making turn based battles more interactive and should have been used more. The plot has some genuinely touching moments, and the levelling system is spot on, focusing more on the skills you learn than the sheer power the extra levels give you.
28. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Nintendo / Sora / Wii
What we said: "It's consistently satisfying over long periods, fulfilling its usual role of dominating a willing crowd's evening into the early hours, and now allowing you to sustain that after everyone's gone home using the Internet. Really the only reason you wouldn't feel that way would be if you didn't stick with it past the dizzying first quarter of an hour, or if you don't like Nintendo characters - and if you don't in either case then you probably aren't reading this anyway, and the prospect of Triforce-smashing your friends to death won't mean anything. Otherwise, persist, and enrich yourself, and wonder where on earth it all goes next."
figaro7 says: Simply packed to the brim with content, slowed the fighting, added some interesting characters and just an all round superb package.
DGumshoe says: The only game that many people woke up early just to see the updates from Dojo.
Santino says: One-on-one final destination fights on this are incredible. Just wish Samus wasn't so nerfed compared to Melee.
Heitzu says: The best of the series to date, with lots of fan service and information about all the different characters. Oh and lets not forget the classic match up of Mario vs. Sonic vs. Snake.
Slim says: A game I can play with my six-year-old without patronising him, chaotic fun. It's a Nintendo fanboy's wet dream and the only game that made owning a Wii worthwhile in 2008.
Plug9090 says: Need I say? Ultimate roster of characters, loads of levels (plus user-created content) and plenty of modes to choose from, single and multiplayer.
MrSemprini says: The way you endlessly batter the punchbag while waiting for an online match is a thing of beauty.
Machewman says: The greatest homage to Nintendo history ever made. A superb fighter, brought to life when playing with others. Buy it.
27. Resistance 2
Sony / Insomniac / PS3
What we said: "Resistance 2 is precisely the sort of exclusive game that the PS3 needs. Improving tenfold on its predecessor in almost every area, it not only belongs on the shopping list of existing Resistance fans, but those who were underwhelmed with the original will also want to check it out, and then fight for it on the internet. It's the way of the warrior."
Trundlez says: Eight-player co-op is amazing, along with the gripping single-player storyline.
felderpony says: Having enjoyed the first, I was looking forward to this and so far it's not disappointed! Certainly one of the best games on the PS3 at this moment in time (it does need more). As FPSs go, this manages to throw enough scares at you, enough nasties and keep the environments interesting. Add on a cracking online multiplayer and well, it just keeps giving.
TopGamerUK says: 60 PLAYERS ONLINE WAR!! Good story and great weapons.
bronze says: I wasn't a huge fan of the first game, but the second game is incredible. The single-player is great, simple fun but the multiplayer is unmatched in my opinion. Better than COD4 online.
26. World of Goo
What we said: "If there's any justice, World of Goo will set the internet aflame and earn its creators a million dollars. The members of 2D Boy should be carried around in chariots while this glory lasts - because at some point, they're going to realise what a murderously high standard they've set for themselves, and run away forever."
Jocho says: Great physics puzzles with bucketloads of charm and atmosphere.
Rirekon says: Truly inspirational gaming, it's such a simple idea implemented with so much polish. Love it.
lewiep says: World of Goo is as close to perfect as it gets. The controls are tight, the animation is lovely, and the presentation is brilliant. Constantly challenging and rewarding.
f00b_inc says: Always a great concept, perfected. Artwork, audio, visuals - proves you don't need a massive team to create something incredible.
hulshof says: Another excellent independent game. Charming, and fun to play. A bit short but still has a very good replayability on the OCD challenges.
25. Mass Effect
EA / BioWare / PC
What we said: "Mass Effect offers us a singular universe of excitement and drama to lose ourselves in. It's an incredibly ballsy game, not afraid to take on any of its competitors, in any field. Story-lead games? Shooters? Even genuine, non-game populist sci-fi? Mass Effect has a try at them all, and leaves more wounds in them than they leave in it, before blasting off into a space all of its own."
yog-sothot says: BioWare rules. Huge background. Great gameplay. Much space for future improvement, I can't wait for the sequel.
Hamflank says: Despite the godawful side quests, this is the most fun I've had with a game in years.
FaceOmeter says: I like dialogue... I have grievances, such as how BioWare totally phoned in the conversion (inventory management could have been about 50,000x easier on the PC). But I did that thing where you play it through with a friend, swapping the controls every ten minutes or so. Magic. It reminded me of my youth. But now there are graphics and salacious blue lesbians!
wheadna says: Everything you'd expect from a BioWare game. The plot is brilliant, the combat interesting and you actually care about the characters involved. The non-main quest planets were boring as hell, and the equipment was too generic, but that shouldn't get in the way of a genuine gaming experience.
24. Valkyria Chronicles
SEGA / SEGA WOW / PS3
What we said: "Make no mistake, Valkyria Chronicles is a really, really, really good tactical RPG, and fans of the genre should pick it up without delay, but beneath the inviting exterior and thoughtfully designed battle system lies a game with a few too many clunky inconsistencies which directly impact the strategic heart of the experience."
oldschoolsoviet says: Simply sumptuous. The standard of quality that all game devs should aspire to, and one of the few fresh, original titles of '08. Nobody makes strategy games any more, but with a little ingenuity, and a whole lot of charm, this game proves that they should. I'm only halfway through, and as much as I want to continue, it'll have to wait till my January holidays, so I can give it the time and attention it deserves.
Cappy says: Name, rank, serial number and Valkyria Chronicles is the most enjoyable game I played all year is all you filthy pigs will get out out of me. Do your worst.
Chinster says: If you loved Vandal Hearts (and I did) then you'll love this. Original art style and a new twist on turn based strategy make this feel fresh, fun and original. Outstanding.
Nillsens says: Beautiful, different, well produced and highly entertaining. It was just about the only game this year that I simply did not want to finish because I knew it would be over if I did.
philios says: Beautiful and bold. A real classic for the turn-based genre.
23. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
Activision / Bizarre Creations / Xbox Live Arcade
What we said: "The omission of online play aside, Geometry Wars 2 is everything you hoped it would be. It deftly builds on a simple framework without overloading it, and even finds room to make the core experience more varied and accessible to everyone. With so many me-too titles still trying - and failing - to match the original game, it's safe to say that the bar has now been raised for Live Arcade shooters across the board."
DarrylKC says: This is the game I played the most (especially in co-op). Gameplay is excellent, very pick up and play. The balance between scores and Achievement gains is very well implemented.
TonyGster says: Massively addictive. Has that rare 'just one more go' element. New game modes are a brilliant addition and the Friend leaderboards are genius!
Chimpus says: Genius Evolved.
Super_Zee says: Still the best reason to own a 360. GW2 improves matters by offering up new styles of play without diluting the core experience (ala Galaxies). Still the best twin-stick shooter ever made. Thank god there was never a Waves arcade cab - my debt would last a lifetime.
OrangesJoel says: Retro Evolved 2 represents pretty much anything and everything that can be done with the random enemy spawning twin-stick shooter. The six game modes are all uniquely challenging, and the Achievements are so specific they're practically games in themselves.
KingOfSpain says: JUST. ONE. MORE. GO.
Oddsy says: It has stolen more hours of my life than any other game this year, and I've loved every second of it.
22. Saints Row 2
What we said: "It may not have the graphical fidelity or the polish of its high-budget counterpart, and will be beaten up for that, but it compensates more than adequately by answering the crucial question - "is it fun?" - with an exuberant, sweary, two-fingered affirmative."
evilashchris says: This is all about the co-op, the only game I can mention in the same breath as Crackdown.
r4z0rbl4d3 says: Saints Row (1) took the GTA blueprint and made it into something diffrent. Saints Row 2 is a whole new game. Loads of fun and a not so serious approach to the sandbox theme.
Kanon says: Sure it's crass. GTA IV has Niko Belic, a man struggling with his future whilst trying to put his past behind him. Saints Row 2 has my character fall backwards over a sofa having shot a rival gang to pieces in a drug-fuelled gun spree. But it knows what it is and where it's place is. Saints Row 2 was fun to play at a point where GTA IV had long since proved to be boring.
Requeim says: This one really surprised me. I am one of the people who loved the older GTAs and hated the new one, so this seems to me like the true sequel to 3/VC/SA. It has some bugs, but that's to be expected from a game with so much in it.
Faulty says: A remedy to GTA4's realism approach, going all out to provide as many different, fun activities as possible.
AHiFi says: If GTA IV deserves accolades, then so does this beauty. While it may be the Marmite of the gaming world, Saints Row 2 provided a ton of content that will leave Rockstar mulling over what to do next. It's bold, brash and brilliant fun. The co-op is an unexpected thrill, that lays waste to Fable II's co-op experience. The amount that Saints Row 2 offers also puts GTAIV to shame - especially when you consider the size of Stillwater compared to Liberty City. Saints Row 2 is a rollercoaster ride that never relents.
dudley says: I found myself playing this more thoroughly than GTA. It pales alongside GTA in every category but the one that matters, it's perhaps a little more fun.
21. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
Blizzard / PC, Mac
What we said: "Wrath of the Lich King takes the best-of-breed MMO and improves everything about it. It's a work of supreme confidence and quality that is twice as fun and ten times as beautiful as classic WOW, not to mention anything else in the genre. But above all else - in the breathtaking sweep of Northrend, in the assured, epic storytelling, in the constellation of brilliant quests - it is a grand adventure. Perhaps the grandest adventure in all gaming. In every sense, Azeroth is still the place to be."
hjarg says: It's happily killing my social lilfe and my relationship, but dammit, it's good!
Rayn says: Expanding on an already great game, Raids are now 10 and 25 man, more variety in quests, new zones look fantastic, VIKINGS!!!!
neuroniky says: I was tempted to call this the best of the year, but it's hard to call an expansion the best thing to have come this year... Blizzard did right everything she did wrong with the Burning Crusade and she also managed to make the game better than the original and to make for normal people with less that 90 per cent of their life dedicated to WOW actually able to see all the content they have created. Hardcore will probably despise this choice, but we guys with a family are just in love with WOTLK. Expecially when a game that is four years old manages to look like it is a new game even if under the hood nothing has changed.
Goffee says: Sapped soul and life but still fun.
bigjimbeef says: An absolute masterpiece from Blizzard. Design is superb, and the new content is all of an even higher standard than before. They seamless added a new class, and managed to keep the game world balanced around major class changes. The music is easily the best game score I've heard in many, many years.
Huddy says: Well constructed and adds to the whole WOW universe. For the less hardcore gamer it finally allows me to compete and will provide many hours of enjoyment.
Shrui says: LET ME GO BLIZZARD! LET MY CHARACTERS DIE AT 70! Ooh, Death Knights!
Machewman says: It's an MMO without the grind, and that's because you'll love every minute of the levelling process. The various Northrend storylines are woven together expertly, the zone design is amazing. The soundtrack is top quality, and it's still one of the most sociable games of all time, ironically.